If one in four Americans is a member of a racial or ethnic minority, why are these minority populations still not well-represented in the health professions?
The question was voiced Wednesday by Dr. Louis Sullivan, former U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services, as he spoke to health professionals at the University of Florida.
Sullivan told the group that the ongoing disparity as a nation “between our white population and those who are people of color costs us all.”
In too many cases, race or ethnicity still determines health status, access to health care and health outcomes, Sullivan said.
In 2009, 17 to 18 percent of the U.S. gross national product went toward health care, he said, a larger expenditure than for either defense or education.